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US election: Biden predicts victory over Trump as counts go on

07 Nov 2020 10:06, Somoy English Desk
US election: Biden predicts victory over Trump as counts go on
US election: Biden predicts victory over Trump as counts go on

Joe Biden has once again said he is confident of victory as he inches closer to beating Donald Trump after Tuesday's US presidential election.

The Democratic challenger now has 253 of the 270 Electoral College votes needed to clinch the White House under the state-by-state US voting system.

Mr Biden also leads vote counts in the battlegrounds of Georgia, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Arizona.

A Biden win would see Mr Trump leave office in January after four years, reports BBC.

"We're going to win this race," Mr Biden told supporters in Wilmington, Delaware, on Friday night, striking an increasingly confident tone as vote tallies showed his lead extending.

He said he was on track to win more than 300 Electoral College votes and pointed out that more people had voted for his campaign - over 74 million people - than any US presidential candidate in history.

The Democrat - presenting himself as the candidate of unity after a bitterly fought campaign - said it was time to "get the vitriol out of our politics" and "be civil to one another".

"We may be opponents but we're not enemies, we're Americans," said Mr Biden, who did not mention his Republican opponent, Mr Trump.

The BBC's Barbara Plett-Usher, in Wilmington, says they were optimistic remarks that came across as a holding speech until the Democrat gets the likely opportunity to give a victory address.

No indication Trump plans to concede
Mr Biden - who ran twice previously for the White House, in 1988 and 2008, without success - would be the oldest president ever inaugurated at 78.

If the Democrat is declared the victor this weekend, his team is expected to begin its transition process on Monday.

The Secret Service has sent reinforcements to Delaware to beef up Mr Biden's security detail. The Federal Aviation Administration has restricted flights over Wilmington's airspace.

However, there is no indication Mr Trump will concede to his opponent in the short term.

"Joe Biden should not wrongfully claim the office of the President," he tweeted on Friday afternoon. "I could make that claim also. Legal proceedings are just now beginning!"

Mr Trump has been making unsubstantiated claims of election fraud, spurring some fellow Republicans to speak up that the rhetoric should be toned down.

What's the current state of the race?
Mr Biden is leading Mr Trump by more than 4 million votes out of a record 145 million cast. But US presidential election results are decided on a state-by-state basis in the Electoral College, and the contest is much closer in the key battlegrounds.

Mr Biden has 253 Electoral College votes, while Mr Trump has 214. To win the White House, a candidate needs 270.

Some news organisations have a higher tally for Mr Biden, having projected a win for the Democrat in Arizona. But the BBC considers the state too early to call.

Pennsylvania, where Mr Biden was born, has 20 Electoral College votes. If the Democrat wins it, he would secure the victory with 273 votes.

The Rust Belt state voted Democratic in six consecutive White House races before it swung to Mr Trump in 2016.

In Georgia, Mr Biden is currently leading with more than 4,000 votes, and 99% of the ballots counted. Georgia's secretary of state said there would be a recount because the margin was so small.

Georgia (16 electoral votes) is a traditionally Republican state and has not been won by a Democrat in a presidential race since 1992.

Mr Biden leads by more than 22,000 votes in Nevada (six electoral votes) and by fewer than 30,000 in Arizona (11 electoral votes).

Mr Trump leads in North Carolina (15 electoral votes) by more than 76,000 ballots.

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